Photoshop CC 2014 makes it really easy to update a Linked Smart Object when changes are made to the external, linked file. In the illustration below, I have placed a graphic that was created in Adobe Illustrator into my Photoshop document. The image is still being refined by another artist on my team.
The Pattern graphic was added into this document using the File > Place Linked command in Photoshop.
After the artist updated the graphic (the linked document) in Illustrator, I opened the “master” document. Photoshop automatically displays a warning icon in both the Layers and Properties panel. Photoshop doesn’t automatically update the master document with the updated linked file because, in some instances, you might not want that updated version – perhaps you disagree with the artist’s updates. : )
To update the link, click on the Icon in the Properties panel and choose Update Modified Content.
Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) -dragging a Smart Filter from one layer to another has different behavior based on where in the Layers panel you click and drag from. For example, Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) -dragging from the text “Smart Filters” will duplicate the Smart Filter including the layer mask:
While Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) -dragging the name of the Smart Filter duplicates without copying the mask.
In the video below, you’ll learn when to embed and when to link Smart Objects,as well as how to update modified content, resolve missing files, and filter layers based on Smart Object attributes.
Note: at 7:21 I say that you can’t change an embedded Smart Object to a linked Smart Object (because this video was recorded before the 2014 release of Photoshop). However, if you run the update to the 2014 release of Photoshop you can now convert from embedded to linked and vice versa!
In addition, here are a few of the shortcuts that I mentioned in the video:
• Drag and drop a file from Bridge to an open document in Photoshop to create an embedded Smart Object.
• Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) drag and drop a file from Bridge to an open document in Photoshop to create a linked Smart Object. Note: this shortcut will also work if you drag and drop from Lightroom into an open Photoshop document on the Mac.
• Command + Option + Shift + E (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + E (Win) will edit the contents of a Smart Object.
• Shift -double click a raw file in Bridge to open it in Photoshop while bypassing the Camera Raw dialog.
Also, if you lose the linked smart object (or the linked smart object is off-line), Photoshop will still be able to print the document with high quality at the same size as it was saved (or smaller) because Photoshop includes a flattened version of the entire document within the PSD or TIFF file when saved (be sure to enable the option to Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility in the File Handling Preferences). This also means that even if the file is linked, you’re going to see a file size increase.
For anyone that has had to try to “salvage” a photograph that just wasn’t quite sharp enough, Photoshop’s Camera Shake Reduction filter can help remedy the situation. Check out the video below to see how Photoshop can help sharpen images with camera motion caused by slow shutter speeds or long focal lengths (i.e. the camera moves while capturing the image, not the subject).
In the video below, we’re going to discover how easy it is to take multiple, bracketed exposures of the same scene and combine them into a single 32-bit HDR image that can then be edited nondestructively using Adobe Camera Raw as a Smart Filter in Photoshop CC. In addition, we’ll discover how powerful Camera Raw can be when applied to multiple layers as a Smart Object.
And just in case I wasn’t clear in the video, I want to point out why Adobe would include Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop CC. Well, here are the first three reasons that I can think of, but I’m sure that there are more!
• First of all, not everyone had the luxury of working with raw files so it can be a huge benefit to be able to apply options like clarity and perspective correction to non raw images (a Photoshop layer for example).
• Sometimes we forget to do things in the right order and we don’t have time to go back to the beginning and fix them when on deadline. Yes, this might not be optimal, and yes, we would be better off making changes earlier in our workflow (processing our raw files directly in Camera Raw before opening them in Photoshop), but Camera Raw as a filter can help to make corrections or add creative effects to layers later in your workflow and/or with legacy files.
• Camera Raw as a filter can be applied to multiple layers at one time (by selecting multiple layers in the Layers panel and converting them to a single Smart Object). Plus, working with Camera Raw as a Smart Filter enables blend mode and opacity options as well as a Smart Filter mask to selectively show and hide the filter. Additional information can be found in this post. Note: The following features are not available when using Camera Raw as a Smart Filter (that are normally available in Camera Raw), primarily because they don’t make sense in the filter context:Workflow options and preferences, crop and straighten tools, rotation tools (rotate left/right buttons), snapshots, camera and lens profile corrections.
Although it is easy to use Select > Modify in order to expand or contract a selection by a specific number of pixels, for additional control, try using the Maximum and Minimum filters. To contract or expand a selection by a decimal number (not a whole number as is the limit for the Select > Modify command), first, make your selection, then click the Quick Mask icon to view the red overlay before selecting the filter (otherwise the filter will effect the pixels in the photo that you have selected). Then, choose Filter > Other > Minimum to contract the selection by a non-whole number or choose Filter > Other > Maximum to expand the selection by a non-whole number.
Note: both of the filters are looking at the values of gray within the specified radius that you define. The Preserve Roundness option will help keep round shapes round instead of being reduced using a more “rectangular” method which will cut corners when contracting. The Preserve Squareness will help keep rectangular shapes with more square edges from getting rounded. Both filters can be used for choke and spread operations on masks or images (removing dirt, enlarging bright points, etc.).
In this episode of The Complete Picture (How to Link Smart Objects in Photoshop CC), Julieanne will show you when to embed and when to link Smart Objects, update modified content, resolve missing files and filter based on smart object attributes.
• Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) drag and drop a file from Bridge to an open document in Photoshop to create a linked (not embedded) Smart Object. Note: this shortcut will also work if you drag and drop from Lightroom into an open Photoshop document on the Mac.
• Command + Option + Shift + E (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + E (Win) will edit the contents of a Smart Object.
The ability to open multiple files from Lightroom into Photoshop as Smart Objects and place them into a single document saves a significant amount of time when compositing. The only restriction is that you must first open a document in Photoshop. Since I typically work with a blank canvas to begin with, this requirement doesn’t bother me. Once you have your Photoshop document open, select the images in Lightroom (yes, you will have to be in Normal screen mode in Lightroom to do this) and drag and drop them on top of the open Photoshop document. Each image will be placed one at a time – displaying transformation handles for resizing to the desired size upon placement.
Select the files in Lightroom and drag and drop them onto your open document in Photoshop.
As you can see, all of the files are also automatically converted to smart objects as they are placed and the layer name takes on the original document’s name. Sweet!
The images are placed into the open document as Smart Objects.
Note: the options to “Resize Image During Place” as well as “Place or Drag Raster Images as Smart Object” are controlled in Photoshop’s General Preferences.
Update: Sorry, I think this is a Mac-only feature. If you know of a way to do this on Windows, please share!
There is a new feature when working in the Merge to HDR Pro feature in Photoshop CC. If you set the Mode to 32 bit, under the histogram is an option to “Complete Toning in Adobe Camera Raw”.
Enabling this option, changes the “OK” button to “Tone in ACR”. Clicking “Tone in ACR” tells Photoshop to convert the 32 bit HDR layer into a Smart Object and automatically apply Camera Raw as a Smart Filter.
Then, simply apply your desired settings in the Camera Raw Filter and click OK. Because you are working with a smart object, not only can you double click the layer thumbnail to re-edit the Camera Raw options, but you can also use the Smart Filter mask to selectively show and hide the effect AND change the Blend Mode and Opacity of the filter!
Note: only the following Blend Modes are available when using Camera Raw as a Smart Filter: Normal, Dissolve, Darken, Multiply, Darker Color, Lighten, Linear Dodge (add), Lighter Color, Difference, Subtract, Divide, Hue, Saturation Color and Luminosity.
I have received several questions as to why Adobe would include Camera Raw as a Filter in Photoshop CC. Well, here are the first three reasons that I can think of, but I’m sure that there are more!
• First of all, not everyone had the luxury of working with raw files so it can be a huge benefit to be able to apply options like clarity and perspective correction to non raw images (a photoshop layer for example).
• Sometimes we forget to do things in the right order and we don’t have time to go back to the beginning and fix them when on deadline. Yes, this might not be optimal, and yes, we would be better off making changes earlier in our workflow (processing our raw files directly in camera raw before opening them in Photoshop), but ACR as a filter can help to make corrections or add creative effects to layers later in your workflow and/or with legacy files.
• ACR as a filter can be applied to multiple layers at one time if you select those layers in the Layers panel and convert them to a smart object. Plus, working with Camera Raw as a smart filter enables blend mode and opacity options as well as the Smart Filter mask to selectively show and hide the filter.
Note: There are several features from regular Adobe Camera Raw that are omitted from Camera Raw as a filter, mostly because they don’t make sense in the filter context.
Did you know that when you’re transforming a Smart Object in Photoshop, the transformation’s anchor points are reversed out at the corners and displayed as light grey but when transforming a regular pixel based layer, the transformation’s anchor points are solid dark grey?
Transforming a Smart Object in Photoshop.
Transforming a regular (raster) layer in Photoshop.
And that concludes today’s nerdy Photoshop trivia! : )
After posting my video Cyclical – The Creative Process I received a great question: If you start in Lightroom with a raw file and choose Photo > Edit In > Open in Photoshop as Smart Object, and then edit that Smart Object, how can you “extract” that raw file with the edited settings?
My first thought was to select the Smart Object in the Layers panel in Photoshop and choose Layer > Smart Objects > Export Contents. But surprisingly that method doesn’t export any edits made to the Smart Object. However, it turns out that the answer is even easier. In Photoshop, simply double click on the Smart Object’s thumbnail in the Layers panel (or choose Layer > Smart Object > Edit Contents) and, in the Camera Raw dialog, click the Save Image button in the lower left corner. Voila.